Although Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP) is an enterprise level solution, you can actually use Microsoft Azure for small businesses to keep data safe using the advanced encryption tools.
How AIP Works and Protects Data
Azure Information Protection (AIP) is a cloud solution that protects data (emails, documents) by classifying them through a labelling system. This system is set up in such a way that the labels and encryptions travel with data – basically, when you send an email labelled as classified, it will remain classified no matter who receives it. Thanks to such a system, you can also track and control all content that is being labelled and revoke access in case it’s being sent or forwarded to parties that weren’t cleared to view it.
The technology that enables this is known as Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS). It uses three policies to keep your data safe: encryption, identity, and authorisation. This means that only those who have the right encryption key, identity, and are authorised to view it will be granted access. If they don’t meet any standards of the label, they won’t be able to access it.
Another great feature of AIP is the ability to prevent email forwarding or using the Reply All function. AIP comes with templates for rights management, but you can also configure your own. It can also be integrated into all Microsoft Office apps when you have the AIP client installed.
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AIP Scanner Allows Automatic Labelling
In addition to label templates and policies, Azure Information Protection also comes with a scanner that helps you detect all data that should be classified and protected. The AIP scanner will run as a service on the Windows server and discover all files stored in local folders on the server, SharePoint libraries, and SharePoint servers. The AIP scanner is available as a feature with Azure Information Protection Premium P1 and P2 plans, but only the Premium P2 plan comes with its automatic labelling capabilities.
Microsoft Azure for Small Businesses: The Optimal Security Solution
Ever since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented, businesses big and small have actively sought solutions to protect sensitive data from prying eyes. Is Azure for small businesses, or is it only good for enterprises?
Small businesses often struggle when searching for a good data security solution, as most seem to be aimed at large enterprises, with costs that most small business owners can’t afford. AIP helps small businesses because of its scaling capabilities and ease of use.
Using software solutions with good security options and firewalls is a good way to start, but often, it’s not enough to cover all the common ways data can end up in the wrong hands. For example, someone might send an email to the wrong recipient or a third party that handles part of your data might be compromised too. This is why Microsoft Azure Information Protection (AIP) is a good option for small businesses too – it ensures data remains uncompromised even in cases of human error.
Azure Information Protection might seem like a very complex system, but once you learn the basics, you will find it’s fairly straightforward to use as a small business.